Thu 25 Jun 2015 | 08:51
Brumbies to appeal Speight's ban
Thu 25 Jun 2015 | 08:51
Brumbies to appeal Speight's banSHARE
The Brumbies will appeal Wallabies wing Henry Speight's five-week ban after the Aussie side felt the player was treated harshly compared to other lifting tackles this season.
Speight was found guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j): Lifting Tackle, on Wednesday and will be out of action up until July 25, which translates into four matches.
His tackle on Stormers' centre Juan de Jongh in the 74th minute of the qualifier last Saturday, resulted in the Springbok landing on his head.
Speight will be out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season and will also miss the Wallabies first two tests of the Rugby Championship against South Africa and Argentina.
The Brumbies will appeal the suspension on two grounds – the severity of the punishment and the incident's classification as a lifting tackle.
"We've decided we will appeal. I've discussed it with Henry and we've been talking to the lawyers today," Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones told the Canberra Times.
"We've looked at the findings closely and we'll appeal some of those findings and also the severity of the sentence in comparison to some of the previous incidents.
"Even though there's a statement that we're trying to discourage this, why is he the guy who seems to have been singled out for what's a particularly cruel and unusual punishment."
Jones was adamant that Speight's tackle on De Jongh was not a 'lifting tackle'.
"We're going to appeal two things – the application of what is viewed as a lifting tackle and whether that's the right rule and also in relation to the harshness of the suspension.
"That was our defence right from the start [that it wasn't a lifting tackle] and whilst we presented a lot of evidence to that case, it was still deemed that, yes, it's a lifting tackle."
According to Jones the appeal could be held on Friday via teleconference, but would depend on the availability of SANZAR officials.
Speight's initial sentence will stand if the appeal is not finalised before the Brumbies semifinal against the Hurricanes on Saturday.
"In the event of an appeal against the decision of a judicial officer, the sanction, if any, imposed by the judicial officer shall apply until the case has been dealt with by an appeal committee," the regulations state.
Source: The Canberra Times